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Opening up creativity with solo movement

Conscious dancing, specifically 5Rhythms, changed my partner dancing profoundly. When I started doing conscious dance that encouraged free movement I had no idea how caught up I was in my own movement patterns. I noticed that my body was doing the same things that I had done millions of times before because I learned them as dance steps. It felt safe doing them and I could feel my body and mind was reluctant to explore beyond these at first. I was stuck in patterns of doing the same dance steps and moving my body the same way like an old routine that kept me safe but unadventurous.

My discovery was that I had become so serious in doing certain steps and striving to do them the 'right' way, to impress someone else, or even just to impress myself. Constantly thinking about doing steps right was not doing anything for my fun or flow. Sure, I had precision but I was actually getting bored with myself when I danced. I was boring myself with the same responses to what people were leading for me. Until I started free movement to music I didn't realise how much more I needed creativity. Letting go of rigid steps allowed me to open up creative flow again.

Now, partner dance, unlike solo free-form dance practices needs the structure of steps, otherwise two partners cannot communicate or create together. There does need to be underlying structure, but there's a delicious balance of having the space to play, create and find new ways of moving which is supported by a common language of understood dance concepts (steps) of the two partners dancing.

I also don't want to degrade learning steps and challenging yourself with interesting moves. I like a challenge and exciting moves as an experienced follow, but actually what I find really fun is space to be creative and play with my partner. That space to play can be challenging if you are are suck in habits and haven't flexed your flow and freedom for a while because you've been caught up in patterns and steps.

Conscious solo dance practices changed my partner dancing so much and it's why I advocate it for all partner dancers. Knowing how to get in touch with your own freedom and flow in your solo dancing will allow the creativity to come flooding back through you when you're no longer finding joy in doing the same repetitive moves and body movements over and over.

(My first 5Rhythms class was about 15 years ago, and the world of conscious dance has blossomed and bloomed over those years. There are now many conscious movement to music modalities to help you break the mold of doing the same dance steps over and over and to discover new and creative things about your self and your dancing.)


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